PAX Prime 2015 – Razer announced 3 key products at PAX 2015, including an updated game controller with carbon steel thumbsticks, a sleek new mid tower PC chassis, and updated Nabu/Nabu-X smartbands to help you survive a zombie apocalypse.
Razer’s keynote was entertaining, albeit still, at the end of the day, a keynote—one cut from largely the same mold as other keynotes, albeit a little less formal and led by the charismatic Min Liang Tan. That said, understand that all keynote speeches are essentially a way to take 15 minutes of information and blow it up into a bladder-busting hour of hyperbole power for the <insert product here> faithful.
The best of them are delivered by passionate, charismatic, but casual speakers that connect with their audiences, such as Razer CEO Min Liang Tan does. The worst of them are…usually delivered by Nintendo, in all honesty.
At the very least you can often get (relatively speaking) quality swag at the end.
But enough jaded blathering on my part. Here’s the run down on Razer’s new and upcoming gear announced at PAX Prime 2015. [I’ll add that Razer also showed me 2 additional, upcoming products “behind closed doors” that I’m not allowed to talk about yet. But I can say this: they are both mice. One is a product update/refresh, and one is a product ‘revival’ of sorts.]
Razer Wildcat Xbox One/PC controller
The Wildcat is an updated version of the already excellent Razer Sabertooth. It’s a wired controller made from high quality materials, including carbon steel thumbsticks to endure the most demanding of gamers (i.e. eSports pros). Additional features include removable, rubber thumbstick caps and palm grips, additional bumper buttons, and modified triggers on its underside.
The triggers differ slightly from the Sabertooth’s in that they can only be pulled (the Sabertooth’s could be pulled or pushed, making them the equivalent of 2 buttons). And if you don’t like them at all, you can remove the Wildcat’s triggers via a small screwdriver (included with the Wildcat). Also like the Sabertooth, all of it comes a durable travel case.
You can program the Wildcat’s additional shoulder buttons and triggers with any other controller button function (X, Y, A ,B) on the fly. You can also switch between controller profiles with the press of a button.Another interesting feature enables you to tweak triggers for faster or slower rapid-fire (repetitive) actions (whichever is more appropriate to the game and your usage).
And finally, the Razer Wildcat is 25% lighter than Microsoft’s Elite Xbox One controller, weighing almost the same (260 grams) as the standard Xbox One controller (262 grams).
Razer Wildcat features and specifications
- 2 shoulder Hyperesponse Multi-Function Bumpers
- 2 removable Hyperesponse Multi-Function Triggers
- 4 Hyperesponse ABXY action buttons
- 4 button Quick Control Panel
- Optional trigger stops for rapid-fire
- Zero slow-turn analog joysticks
- 3.5 mm audio port for stereo audio output and microphone input
- Optional rubber palm grips
- Quick-release cable
- Carrying case
- Detachable 3 m / 10 ft lightweight braided fiber cable with Micro-USB connector
- Approximate size : 106 mm / 4.17” (Length) x 156 mm / 6.14” (Width) x 66 mm / 2.60” (Height)
- Approximate weight (without cable) : 260 g / 0.57 lbs
The Wildcat will cost $150 and be released worldwide October 2015.
Razer NZXT S340 PC Chassis
Razer unveiled something just for us PC gamers too—a new mid-tower chassis that is sleeker, thinner, and even more elegant than their previous one. A green LED razer logo and underside lighting accents the slim new addition.
The only catch? Forget installing an external 5.25″ optical drive—there are no external drive bays. You’ll want to get an external USB 3.0 Blue Ray drive for that—which is probably perfectly acceptable for most of us, given how relatively rarely optical media is used any more.
Designed by Razer features:
- Front panel featuring back-lit Razer logo
- Cable management bar w/Razer logo
- Green power LED
- Green underglow LED with switch located in the rear
- PCI slot base cover for a flush look and funneled airflow
- Razer signature green USB 3.0 ports
- Tinted window panel
- 360 degrees of steel casing surrounding the all-steel chassis
- Grommet-less cable management bar keeps cables tidy with ease
- Full 280 mm radiator support in the front
- Compact form factor coming in two inches below competing mid towers
- Detailed design and engineering with tons of small touches
- Very easy to build in for new and experienced users alike
- Integrated PSU shroud for an ultra-clean build
- Fully filtered intakes
- Includes 2x 120 mm FN V2 fans, top and rear
The Razer S340 is now available at NZXT’s web site for $99.
Razer Nabu X / Nabu
Razer revealed 2 new Nabu product refreshes with improved software. The new Razer Nabu ($99) has improved fittings, a better fastener, and a better placed button. It’s also splash-resistant and boasts greatly improved software and advanced algorithms for detecting your activity (or lack of it).
The Nabu X is the less expensive ($49) sibling, and replaces the Nabu’s OLED screen with 3 colored LED lights. Using the (updated) Nabu-X app on your iOS or Android phone, you can configure the LEDs however you want, specifying certain colors, patterns, vibrations, etc. for specific notifications (new email, SMS, etc.). The software is also unified, so you won’t need both the Nabu utility and the Nabu fitness App as you do now. (You can download the beta version of the improved software at Razerzone.com/nabu-x.)
Razer Nabu specifications
- OLED 128×16 single color display (Nabu only)
- 3-axis accelerometer
- Cylindrical vibration motor
- Single button for OLED screen access and other specific functions
- Lithium-polymer battery with up to 6 days battery life
- Rain, sweat, and splash proof. Not suitable for showering and submerging.
- Charging via proprietary USB cable.
- Wireless syncing with mobile devices via Bluetooth LE.
- Up to 6 days battery life (Nabu) or 7 days battery life (Nabu-X)
A special ‘PAX blue’ Nabu X was given away at PAX Prime 2015, and Min Liang Tan promised Razer would be able to keep up with demand this time around when the new Nabus release. Pre-orders for the new Nabus begin September 15th, 2015, and they should be shipping in October 2015.